New player experince

Describe your experience with the latest version of FreeOrion to help us improve it.
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axet
Space Krill
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Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2018 3:24 pm

New player experince

#1 Post by axet » Mon Sep 03, 2018 3:53 pm

Hi!

My first impression about game 0.4.8 looks amazing and finished game but very complicated for beginners. I guess it would be nice to see few tweaks:

1) Better Single Player menu: simple recommended settings to start the game: "easy", "medium", "hard" and "custom". Every game difficulty should have score factor 100%-1000% and score table and Custom can automaticallly apply score factor based on settings.

2) Official starter guide with 5-10 guided turn or just similar video.

3) More default ships based on unlocked hulls / technologies researched. It would reduce clicks for new players and simplify gameplay. Other ship designed should be automatically hidded/obsolete when new better design avilable.

4) Easy accessing "seed" option, 0.4.8 has "random" text instead of actual map seed number and prevent replaying previously played map.

5) Roadmap has interactive space/ground battles - amazing idea!

6) Sometimes at end the game I unable to send troops to the ground or my ships deal no damage to the enemy ships. Which is very confusing. If it is related to the my low technology level it should be explained in the logs. (Your ships deal no damage and destroyed or similar). Or when I try to send troops to the ground due technology limitations it should show some sort of message to the user where "invasion" button showen / tooltip.

7) Ship fleets list should be accesced from the global menu, where currently only you can find statistics. So user can control all his fleets and route them.

8) It is nice to have default target route for every shipyard/planet. Currenty I have to choice individual ship in production. Individual route should be accessed by simple right click when building ship selected.

9) touchpad two finger scroll (I guess mouse whell scroll) too sensitive it jump for 8-10 items when scrolled slightly and can be more smoothed.

10) Build menu can differ interstellar ships and planet only ships (Outpost Base, Colony Base, Trop Drop) marked as ships, which is a bit confusing for beginers. They may be called 'pod'

11) Concentration Camps should be prerequisites for: banks, jurisprudence, adversments, TV, copyright and intellectual property.

12) Technology tree should have additional simple view / blocks: basic research (Nascent AI), basic production (Fusion), laser ships, improved reasech (orbital generations, microgravity industry), impoved production (exorobots), plasma ships, advanced reserch (growts, trancendent design), advanced production, death rays fighters (titan hill etc). It is not optimal choices but helps a lot for new players and improved gampay on easy/mediul gameplay. Player still be able to removed unwanted research from the list.

13) Active stargates can be shown on map with dashed yellow line between planet. So it would be easy to find.

14) Missing end game dialog in single player mode, "You Won!". As I understand here is two win conditions, by war, or by since. [Quit] [Continue]

15) Planet Suitability the main feature in the game and should not be hidden as context menu. Better to have all time enabled / persistent button on planet overlay.

Overall: amazing game! Few bugs. AI very generous even on Manacal level, it could kill me in seconds, but did not hurt until its end. Maybe, having better AI for higher difficalties can be good idea.
Last edited by axet on Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:47 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Dilvish
AI Lead, Programmer
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Re: New player experince

#2 Post by Dilvish » Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:37 pm

I am glad to hear you are enjoying FO!, thanks
axet wrote:
Mon Sep 03, 2018 3:53 pm
2) Official starter guide with 5-10 guided turn or just similar video.
On the first turn, there is a sitrep that pops up which includes a clickable link to a pedia page which in turn includes a clickable link to our QuickPlay Guide. Also, I am pretty sure that a few years ago Yandonman put up a YouTube starter guide video; it is a bit outdated now but probably still fairly helpful.
4) Easy accessing "seed" option, 0.4.8 has "random" text instead of actual map seed number and prevent replaying previously played map.
If you click on the dice button next to the "Random" text, it allows you to manually edit the seed
6) Sometimes at end the game I unable to send troops to the ground or my ships deal no damage to the enemy ships. Which is very confusing. If it is related to the my low technology level it should be explained in the logs. (Your ships deal no damage and destroyed or similar). Or when I try to send troops to the ground due technology limitations it should show some sort of message to the user where "invasion" button showen / tooltip.
Being unable to damage enemy ships is generally due to them having shielding greater than your weapon power, or due to them being stealthed. Both of those are described in the Pedia. Perhaps there is a reasonable place to bring those more to the attention of the player, feel free to make specific proposals.

As for ground troops, again stealth can block invasions, as well as the planets having nonzero shielding (the shields have to be beaten down to zero by attacks). I think those are also both described in the pedia and shown in the UI, but I'll mull over the tooltip idea.
7) Ship fleets list should be accesced from the global menu, where currently only you can find statistics. So user can control all his fleets and route them.
You can do that via the Objects Window.
If I provided any code, scripts or other content here, it's released under GPL 2.0 and CC-BY-SA 3.0

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EricF
Space Dragon
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Re: New player experince

#3 Post by EricF » Tue Sep 04, 2018 5:57 am

axet wrote:
Mon Sep 03, 2018 3:53 pm
11) Concentration Camps should be prerequisites for: banks, jurisprudence, Adversments, TV
LOL. Very funny. :lol:

axet
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Re: New player experince

#4 Post by axet » Tue Sep 04, 2018 3:51 pm

6) Sometimes at end the game I unable to send troops to the ground or my ships deal no damage to the enemy ships. Which is very confusing. If it is related to the my low technology level it should be explained in the logs. (Your ships deal no damage and destroyed or similar). Or when I try to send troops to the ground due technology limitations it should show some sort of message to the user where "invasion" button showen / tooltip.
Being unable to damage enemy ships is generally due to them having shielding greater than your weapon power, or due to them being stealthed. Both of those are described in the Pedia. Perhaps there is a reasonable place to bring those more to the attention of the player, feel free to make specific proposals.

As for ground troops, again stealth can block invasions, as well as the planets having nonzero shielding (the shields have to be beaten down to zero by attacks). I think those are also both described in the pedia and shown in the UI, but I'll mull over the tooltip idea.
The situation is looks like a bug, and if it is we need to have better report on screen. At end of the game we have a lot of stealth and technologies. It is better to have proper logs for strange situations and better UI handling those cases. When My ships are damadged with dealing no return damadge it is a good warning sign to display to the user! For example it is good to have fight summary in the log. Where you can see (dialog or tooltip) start stats for booth sides, and after fight.

Also feels very buggy with stelths planets. Not sure it is intentional or bug. When my troops and ships with death rays on orbit I unable to damadge the shields or send troops to the planet. Not sure what is the reason. Sometime I guild "Interstellar radar" to reduce stealths on all object in current system, or just have to leave and comeback later because I unable to get the planet.

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Oberlus
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Re: New player experince

#5 Post by Oberlus » Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:57 am

axet wrote:
Tue Sep 04, 2018 3:51 pm
The situation is looks like a bug, and if it is we need to have better report on screen. At end of the game we have a lot of stealth and technologies. It is better to have proper logs for strange situations and better UI handling those cases. When My ships are damadged with dealing no return damadge it is a good warning sign to display to the user! For example it is good to have fight summary in the log. Where you can see (dialog or tooltip) start stats for booth sides, and after fight.
You do get fight summaries of each battle and you are told when you are destroyed by a hidden enemy. Keep in mind the combat reports have two tabs, one with a graphical summary (barrs) and a log for a detailed report with every shot fired during the combat. If you read those logs, you'll see that the situations in which an undetected enemy attacks your forces are clearly indicated: if the hidden enemy destroyed all your assets in that system in the first round of combat, you will not know what hit you (makes sense: you were killed before knowing you were being attacked) and won't be able to check the enemy stats (it will say "unknown enemy"), but if there is any planet (that can't be destroyed during normal combat, just incapacitated), or a ship that made it to the second round, you'll see the stats of your enemies (remaining hit points, etc.), although they will be hidden again after the combat (you'll see in the map a "ghost sensor" on the last known position of the enemy).
axet wrote:
Tue Sep 04, 2018 3:51 pm
Also feels very buggy with stelths planets. Not sure it is intentional or bug. When my troops and ships with death rays on orbit I unable to damadge the shields or send troops to the planet. Not sure what is the reason. Sometime I guild "Interstellar radar" to reduce stealths on all object in current system, or just have to leave and comeback later because I unable to get the planet.
The concept of a hidden planet (all of it?) may seem counter-intuitive, but you must open your mind to it. If you are unable to detect a planet, you don't know where it is and hence can't attack it, land on it, or anything else.

I think the problem you have circumscribes to a lack of investment on detection technologies:

Every empire starts the game with a detection strength equal to 10 and some variable detection range. Every object in the galaxy with same or less stealth than the empire's detection strength will be detected by such an empire when it gets into its detection range, and objects with higher stealth will remain unseen (unless they attack something within the detection range).
Every planet starts with a base stealth of 5 (so they can be detected right from the start by any empire), but some empires begin with a bonus to planetary stealth (good planetary stealth gives +20, great planetary stealth gives +40), so colonies of species like Trith and Laenfa can't be detected (and thus can't be invaded) unless you increase your empire's detection strength. Also, planetary stealth can be increased by researching planetary stealth technologies (there are four level, each gives an additional +20, so maximum stealth of a planet 85 for species with no stealth bonus, and 125 for species like Trith).
Empires can increase their detection strength via researching detection technologies. The first three ones will give you a +20 each (upping your detection strength to 70), and the last one, that requires 2000 RPs, will increase it up to 200, more than enough to detect almost anything in the galaxy. Only in very strange situations you'll require some extra help because some object is above 200 stealth, but that is really strange.

axet
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Re: New player experince

#6 Post by axet » Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:33 pm

What you saying is makes sense. But for a user it is feels like a bug. Drawing attention to the uncommon situations it is a good idea. For example when you fleet destoyed it is good to have in additional to logs small pop up button on screen, closed by right click or something with BIG blow icon (if you fleet was destoryed with all nessecery details, saying if been destoryed by unknown stealth sheep) or just swords icon if you had/having battle). I can miss some logs. And fleet fights not so common. It is ok to have additional onscreen square button on top or bottom screen.

Again, planet stealth can be more frendly to the user if have additional information on screen. I had 200 detection strength and still cound not attack/invade planet. Maybe it can explain better if we have some feedback from the game at the same spot where "invade" button located.

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Oberlus
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Re: New player experince

#7 Post by Oberlus » Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:55 pm

axet wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:33 pm
What you saying is makes sense.
I assume you refer to the hidden planets thing.
axet wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:33 pm
But for a user it is feels like a bug.
Well, I am a user, just a player, I'm not part of the development team and I have met the game after 0.4.7 release.
axet wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:33 pm
Drawing attention to the uncommon situations it is a good idea. For example when you fleet destoyed it is good to have in additional to logs small pop up button on screen, closed by right click or something with BIG blow icon (if you fleet was destoryed with all nessecery details, saying if been destoryed by unknown stealth sheep) or just swords icon if you had/having battle). I can miss some logs. And fleet fights not so common. It is ok to have additional onscreen square button on top or bottom screen.
Just to be sure: unless you disabled it manually, you must be getting situational reports on every combat and every damaged or destroyed ship (yours or alien). It's good practice to click on those combat reports (that open another window with the combat summary and the combat log) and check out what happened and where. If you have the bad habit of clicking on next turn without checking the combat logs, maybe because your situational report windows is swamped by other less important sitreps, then I suggest you to disable the sitreps you find less relevant to your gameplay. E.g. I disable every fleet arrival sitrep and enemy ship arrivals, any monster report, any damaged ship report and any enemy ship destroyed report. That makes it easier for me to not miss an important combat report.
axet wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:33 pm
Again, planet stealth can be more frendly to the user if have additional information on screen. I had 200 detection strength and still cound not attack/invade planet. Maybe it can explain better if we have some feedback from the game at the same spot where "invade" button located.
You sure? An screenshot of that would be helpful.
I assume you were unable to attack the planet because it was hidden (stealth>200). The only situation when a planet can be hidden for a 200-detection strength empire is if it has max planetary stealth tech (+80) plus it is the experimentors planet (ultimate stealth, +60), plus there is an ion storm going on (+40 stealth to the objects within it, and -40 to detection for the objects within it). And it should be temporal as ion storms don't last forever.
I assume you don't refer to the imposibility of invading a planet when it has shields>0 (that happens if you only have troops to invade and no armed ships to take down the shields first).

axet
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Re: New player experince

#8 Post by axet » Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:12 pm

First save 411 turn. Move fleet from Durash B to Arneb and try to invide. Failed.

* https://drive.google.com/file/d/18aTgEs ... sp=sharing

Second turn 704. I had issues moving fleet from Metallah to Misha (top right). But now it working... May be I find which planet failing...

* https://drive.google.com/file/d/1xktYQI ... sp=sharing

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Oberlus
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Re: New player experince

#9 Post by Oberlus » Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:40 pm

I loaded your turn 704 save game, grabbed your huge fleet at Metallah and headed it to Misha, arrived there on turn 711, ordered the troopers to invade and got the three planets on turn 712. I was expecting the ion storm to be there and see something weird but that didn't happen. Even if the ion storm had been there, the 65+40 stealth wouldn't have been able to hide the planet from your 200 strength detection.
The only other possibility to make invasion impossible I see is that you lost most of your troopers passing by Lyot (there was a 22k damage stack there that I avoided). But that wouldn't be a failed invasion (it fails if you order an invasion and on next turn it didn't work). So I don't see the problem. Maybe I misunderstand what you meant?
Misha_System_Invaded_turn712.jpg
Misha_System_Invaded_turn712.jpg (524.1 KiB) Viewed 150 times

axet
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Re: New player experince

#10 Post by axet » Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:47 pm

704 working now, it used to fail, probably ion storm you mention was the issue. Never heard of it before. 411 still not working.

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Oberlus
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Re: New player experince

#11 Post by Oberlus » Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:47 pm

axet wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:47 pm
704 working now, it used to fail, probably ion storm you mention was the issue. Never heard of it before. 411 still not working.
Loaded. The planets at Arneb have stealth 125, and your empire is 70 detection strength. As already said, you can't attack a planet you can't see. Again, everything as expected.
If you hover your mouse over the planets, it will tell you last turn it was scanned and the stealth it has back then.

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Dilvish
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Re: New player experince

#12 Post by Dilvish » Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:18 pm

you can't attack a planet you can't see.
I'll urge that we phrase this as "can't effectively attack a planet you can't see clearly"
If I provided any code, scripts or other content here, it's released under GPL 2.0 and CC-BY-SA 3.0

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Oberlus
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Re: New player experince

#13 Post by Oberlus » Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:29 pm

Dilvish wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:18 pm
you can't attack a planet you can't see.
I'll urge that we phrase this as "can't effectively attack a planet you can't see clearly"
I myself think of it as "can't aim at what you can't locate in time and space" :P

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Re: New player experince

#14 Post by Jaumito » Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:28 pm

Oberlus wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:29 pm
Dilvish wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:18 pm
you can't attack a planet you can't see.
I'll urge that we phrase this as "can't effectively attack a planet you can't see clearly"
I myself think of it as "can't aim at what you can't locate in time and space" :P
...or more prosaically, "can't shoot fish in a barrel full of tar."

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